NHL Picks: Atlanta Thrashers and Washington Capitals Game Of The Day

Matthew FairburnCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 01: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates a goal against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on December 1, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Capitals beat the Blues 4-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

With a 3-3 record last night, I improved to 14-12 on the week. With 12 games on the docket, it will be a great night for hockey fans. I’ve got my eye on the Thrashers-Capitals game, as well as Detroit at L.A.

New Jersey Devils (8-15-2)(170) at Philadelphia Flyers (15-7-4)(-210) (Total 5) – 1:00 P.M. EST, TV – MSG Plus, CSN-PH – The Flyers have really struggled recently, mainly up front, scoring just three goals in their last three games.

The Devils looked just as bad on Thursday against Montreal, falling at the hands of the Canadiens 5-1.

This seems like a great spot for Philly to get back on track. They are 5-0 in their last five home games against the Devils. The Flyers are due for an offensive outburst.

Pick: Philadelphia (-210) Over (5) – Flyers 5 Devils 1

San Jose Sharks (12-8-4) (105) at Montreal Canadiens (16-8-2) (-125) (Total 5.5) – 2:00 P.M. EST, TV – CBC, RDS, CSN-CA – The Montreal Canadiens have alternated wins and losses over their last nine games. They won Thursday night against the Devils, making this an easy spot for a loss.

However, the Sharks have not been playing well, dropping five of their last eight games, causing them to fall all the way to fourth place in the Pacific Division.

Montreal is 6-2 in their last eight games at the Bell Centre, and San Jose has not won in Montreal since 2002. I like the Habs here.

Pick: Montreal (-125) Under (5.5) – Canadiens 3 San Jose 1

Boston Bruins (14-8-2) (-150) at Toronto Maple Leafs (8-12-4) (130) (Total 5) – 7:00 P.M. EST, TV – CBC, NHLN-US, NESN – A battle of two Northeast division foes features a pair of teams heading in complete opposite directions. The Bruins are fresh of the hands of an inspiring 3-0 victory over the Flyers, while the Maple Leafs just fell to the Oilers.

Boston has owned this series recently, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings. To help matters, Toronto is 2-8 in their last 10 games coming off of a loss.

Pick: Boston (-150) Under (5) – Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1

Buffalo Sabres (10-13-3) (-105) at Ottawa Senators (11-14-1) (-115) (Total 5.5) – 7:00 P.M. EST, TV– CBC, MSG-B – Both of these teams are performing below pre-season expectations.

All of the trends tell us that Buffalo is in trouble. They are 2-5 in their last seven games at Ottawa, while Ottawa is 10-2 in the last 12 games of this series.

Despite the trends, I am going with Buffalo. Ryan Miller has been on fire, giving up just six goals in his last four starts. Meanwhile, the Senators have struggled to score, putting the puck in the net only 17 times in their last 11 games.

Buffalo should be able to keep the momentum going after a spirited victory against Columbus last night.

Pick: Buffalo (-105) Under (5.5) – Sabres 4 Senators 1

Atlanta Thrasher (13-10-3) (170) at Washington Capitals (18-7-2) (-210) (Total 6) – 7:00 P.M. EST, TV– FS-S, CSN-DC – The game of the night pits two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference in Atlanta and Washington. Both teams, however, just saw winning streaks end.

Atlanta won the last meeting between these two teams by a score of 5-0, but dropped the first two meetings this season.

Washington is a tough out at home. The Capitals won the last five home meetings against Atlanta.

This will be a fun one to watch.

Pick: Washington (-210) Under (6) – Capitals 4 Thrashers 1

Pittsburgh Penguins (17-8-2) (-125) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-9-1) (105) (Total 5.5) – 7:00 P.M. EST, TV– FS-Pittsburgh; FS-Ohio
– Two teams heading in opposite directions. The Penguins have won nine straight and the Blue Jackets have lost four in a row.

The Blue Jackets don’t exactly have a significant home-ice advantage, going 2-4 in their last six home games, while Pittsburgh has won five in a row on the road.

Pick: Pittsburgh (-125) Over (5.5) – Penguins 5 Blue Jackets 3

Colorado Avalanche (13-9-3) (130) at Tampa Bay Lightning (14-9-3) (-150) (Total 6) – 7:30 P.M. EST, TV– RDS, Altitude, Sun
– Colorado continues their trip across the Southeast with a visit to Tampa Bay.

These teams do not see much of one another, making trends a bit useless. It is worth however, that Colorado is 5-1 in its last six trips to sunny Tampa.

The Avs are playing much better hockey than Tampa at the moment, and just got Craig Anderson back, who was stellar in goal for them last evening.

Pick: Colorado (130) Under (6) – Avalanche 4 Lighting 1

Carolina Hurricanes (11-11-3) (120) at Nashville Predators (11-8-5) (-140) (Total 5.5) – 8:00 P.M EST, TV – Carolina gave a spirited effort at home last night against the Colorado Avalanche, in a low-scoring overtime win.

In Carolina’s last ten games following a win, however, the Hurricanes are just 2-8. That being said, Pekka Rinne just got injured. I’ll take the Hurricanes.

Pick: Carolina (120) Under(5.5) – Hurricanes 3 Predators 2

Minnesota Wild (11-11-3)(160) at Dallas Stars(15-8-1)(-190) (Total 5.5) – 8:00 P.M. EST, TV– KSTC, TXA 21 – Another match up of two squads heading in different directions. The Stars come into this game having won five in a row, while the Wild have a four game losing streak going.

Dallas is a great team on home ice, particularly against the Wild. They are 5-0 in their last five games against Minnesota on home ice.

Kari Lehtonen comes into this game having allowed only four goals in his last three starts, with a .956 save percentage.

Some may think Dallas is due for a loss, and while I agree, I just don’t think it will come at home against the struggling Wild.

Pick: Dallas (-190) Under (5.5) – Stars 3 Wild 1

Florida Panthers (10-14-0)(160) at Phoenix Coyotes (12-7-5)(-190) (Total 5) – 8:00 PM EST, TV – FS-F, FS-A – As seems to be the theme of the night, we get another contest of teams riding different streaks.

The Coyotes come into this game 8-2 in their last ten games, while the Panthers are just 3-7 in that same span.

With two teams that rarely see one another, it is tough to get a read on this game.

Luckily, we have a hot team in Phoenix at home against a struggling Panthers team. This is an easy pick.

Pick: Phoenix (-190) Over (5) – Coyotes 4 Panthers 2

St. Louis Blues (12-9-3)(-125) at Edmonton Oilers (9-12-4)(105) (Total 5.5)– 10:00 P.M. EST, TV – CBC, FS-MW – It is starting to sound like a broken record, but here we have two teams on opposite streaks, Edmonton being the hot team in this contest.

The Oilers look like they have turned a corner with their young exciting roster. Taylor Hall has collected seven points in as many games, after collecting just seven in his first seventeen outings.

The Oilers are hot right now and playing at home. Not to mention, they have an 8-2 record in the last ten meetings between these two teams.

Pick: Edmonton (105) Under (5.5) – Oilers 3 Blues 2

Detroit Red Wings (17-4-2)(110) at Los Angeles Kings (14-10-0)(-130) (Total  5.5) – 10:30 EST, TV – FS-D, FS-W – The game of the night in the Western Conference feature two teams that find themselves in the think of the playoff race.

Jimmy Howard gets a much needed breather, as Chris Osgood returns to the Detroit net tonight for the first time since October 30th.

I am siding with Detroit, one of the NHL’s best teams, due to their 8-2 record in their last ten visits to the Staples Center.

Pick: Detroit (110) Under (5.5) – Detroit 2 Kings 1


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